In December 2012, Daimler AG sold another 7.5% of the shares of EADS (61.1 million EADS shares) to the state-owned bank, Kreditanstalt for Wiederaufbau (KfW). The Daimler Group achieved extraordinary income of 1.66 billion euros. This money is available for the development of sensible new technologies and to make the fleet of vehicles more ecological – that's the good news.
But anyone who had hoped that the reduced stake in the armaments giant European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) would cause Daimler AG to concentrate solely on the automotive core business in the future and abandon the business with death is disappointed once again.
In the current statistics of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), EADS (with Daimler) continues to be in the inglorious seventh position worldwide with increased weapon sales to a volume of 16.39 billion US dollars (2011). EADS produces and sells the Eurofighter airplane, the Tiger military helicopter, border security equipment and atomic-warhead carriers of the type M51 (see www.eads.com).
This means that Daimler and EADS profit from the sale of 72 Eurofighter Typhoons and approximately 9,000 kilometers of border security equipment to the repressive royal family in Saudi Arabia. The human-rights situation there is disastrous: Due to the application of sharia law, alleged thieves have their hands hacked off in public, political opponents, homosexuals and Christians are executed. According to a Fatwa issued in the spring of 2012, only Muslim places of worship are to remain standing in the future; Christian churches are to be razed to the ground. Exactly this regime in Riad, whose actions awaken memories of the deepest Middle Ages, is stabilized and strengthened by Daimler/EADS with large supplies of weapons and security equipment.
The situation is also worrying in the Gulf state Oman, another country that receives weapons from Daimler/EADS. According to the 2012 report of the human-rights organization Amnesty International, the police there applied disproportionate force against largely peaceful demonstrators. Several people were injured or died. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested and many received prison sentences. Freedom of opinion was considerably restricted by the authorities. Girls and women continue to be discriminated against by the law and in daily life.
Irrespective of all these facts, »Defense News" reported in December 2012 that Oman had agreed to buy Eurofighters from BAE Systems. The value of those Eurofighter Typhoons together with eight Hawk Jets for the »Royal Air Force of Oman" amounts to 2.5 billion pounds. The airplanes are to be delivered starting in 2017. Once again, EADS and thus also Daimler will profit from supplying parts for warplanes to be exported to an inhumane regime.
Numerous other weapon transfers from Daimler/EADS to states that violate human rights and wage wars could be listed. Already in 2011, when many of the democracy movements in the Middle East and the Maghreb were being brutally suppressed, the Daimler Group advertised its military products at the IDEX weapons trade fair in Abu Dhabi. And EADS »Germany" (Stand 08-B05), Daimler AG (09-B10) and Daimler Trucks North America LLC (02-A30) were also represented at IDEX 2013 with weapons of war and military vehicles (see www.idexuae.ae > Exhibitor list).
The Daimler Board of Management says nothing to the shareholders, employees and customers about involvement in the production and export of military vehicles on the Group's website at www.daimler.com or in Annual Report 2012. Once again, there is no reporting on the broad range of military vehicles (see www.mercedes-benz.com/military-vehicles).
In order to draw attention to massive failings like these and to give the victims a voice and the perpetrators a name and a face, we have established the nationwide campaign »Action Outcry – Stop the Arms Trade!" More than one hundred organizations of the peace and human-rights movement, the Evangelical Church and Catholic Church urge a changeover to ethically and morally responsible action (see www.rib-ev.de). www.aufschrei-waffenhandel.de, www.dfg-vk.de and www.rib-ev.de)
We urgently demand that the Daimler Board of Management finally and fully change over the production at EADS and at Mercedes Military to civil production. Only when armaments conversion has been successfully implemented will corporate governance, the compliance principles and the code of ethics constitute a basis for business for Daimler AG that can be taken seriously. So far, it seems that only profit counts; in the case of Daimler/EADS and Mercedes Military, the profits of war."